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    The Best Vegan Grocery Store Finds I Tried In 2021

    According to me. And my stomach.

    It's 2021, and the number of vegan foods you can buy at your local grocer has truly exploded this year.

    IFC / Via giphy.com

    And as a longtime vegan, I've made it my personal business to sample as many of them as I can. So without further ado, here are the best vegan foods I've found in the grocery store so far this year.

    1. Just Egg Folded

    A box with a folded egg on a piece of toast
    Just / Via ju.st

    I really enjoy the standard Just Egg sold in a bottle for making scrambled "eggs" and quiches, for baking, and for really on-point breakfast tacos — but I've never been great at forming eggs, pancakes, or anything else into perfect little circles while cooking. So when I caught wind of these preportioned eggs made for using in a sandwich, I knew I had to get my hands on them.

    I'm pleased to report that these elusive, sometimes hard-to-find faux eggs are the key to an excellent vegan breakfast sandwich. I also really like them because you can cook them in multiple ways. The first (and most obvious) way is to sauté them in a smidge of oil or butter in a pan. I like this method because I'm able to take a slice of cheese and melt it onto the folded egg so it's all perfect for a breakfast sandwich. But you can also cook them in the toaster — so if you're not obsessed with all things cheesy, like I am, it's an easier way to cook.

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    2. Like Nuggets

    A box showing a bowl of chicken nuggets inside
    Like Meat / Via likemeat.com

    My love affair with these nuggets began on one of our first trips to a new grocery store as the country began to open up earlier this year. We were navigating through the aisles of this small neighborhood spot when we noticed a small row of frozen vegan meats in the back of the store.

    "Like Nuggets," I whispered to myself as I flipped the cute-looking box over to see the ingredients. I was surprised to see they were vegan and gluten-free...and still looked really appetizing. I bought two boxes (just in case they were great), and I'm happy to report that these are, hands down, the best plant-based nuggets I've tried. They're crispy, they're juicy, and they remind me of the A+ nuggets at Peacefood Cafe in New York. Needless to say, we've bought them again many times, and I pretty much always keep a box in the freezer for "just in case."

    3. Sea Salt Cauliflower Chips by From the Ground Up

    A yellow bag of chips
    From the Ground Up / Via fromthegroundupsnacks.com

    I really love everything this company makes — from their butternut squash crackers to their cauliflower stalks — so I was stoked to find out that they launched a line of potato chips over the summer. What I like the most about their snacks is that they're made from all-natural ingredients mostly consisting of vegetables — even though you don't taste the vegetables in the final result. (Believe me, I've served these snacks to many friends and family members over the years, and not once has someone ever asked, "Wait a minute, are there carrots in this?!")

    It's no different with their chips, which taste just as flavorful as any other chip you'd find in a store but are a much more balanced option. They're vegan, gluten-free, and honestly just so tasty and addictive. So far, I've sampled the Sour Cream & Onion and Sea Salt varieties, but they come in Buffalo and Salt & Vinegar as well. If you see these in the store, grab 'em!

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    4. Partake Cookies

    Partake Foods / partakefoods.com

    If you're someone who eats vegan that is looking for a cookie that doesn't exactly taste like it's vegan, you need to try Partake's line of cookies. They come in soft-baked and crunchy editions and have a really large line of flavors. Specifically, the soft chocolate cookies blew my mind! I've tried a lot of vegan cookies over the years, but these absolutely take the cake.

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    5. Beyond Meatballs

    A package of 12 meatballs with a label in the middle
    Beyond Meat

    I've been a fan of Beyond Meat since they first popped onto the scene, and it's been really inspiring to see how far they've come with all of their new iterations of plant-based food! You know how I mentioned earlier that I haven't been great at making circular foods? Well, the same thing goes for making food into ball shapes: falafel, chocolate, meatballs — I've made lopsided versions of each!

    I've found that cooking these alongside a bowl of pasta can really "up" the excitement over a meal because spaghetti and meatballs is always superior to spaghetti on its own. Other ideas include using these for a meatball sandwich or cooking the meatballs, slicing them, and adding 'em to a pizza. 

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    6. Joi Oat Milk Powder

    One package of organic, gluten-free Joi Oat Milk Powder with a small sample of the powder on the side
    Joi / Via addjoi.com

    I'm someone who's always looking for ways to be more sustainable, so my interest was piqued when I came across Joi's line of nut-based starters. I figured that it's better to buy one can of concentrated nuts to mix with water to blend your own fresh milk than to buy carton after carton from the grocery store. (Note: The bag above is 100% compostable!)

    That said, I was surprised at how fast this bag of oat milk powder has become a staple in the house. I didn't go crazy for oat milk in the past couple of years like the rest of the internet seemingly has — almond and coconut are just fine for me, thanks — but the taste of this oat milk has turned me around completely. It's really easy to make, too: Just add 2 tablespoons of powder per 1 cup of water in a blender and the milk is done in just a few seconds. Fresh nut milk whenever I want it? Yes, please.

    7. Lily Seed Pops by Eat Makhana

    A blue bag with a lily flower on it and two cartoon girls
    Eat Makhana / Via eatmakhana.com

    If you haven't tried popped seeds of any variety before...first, get on that, and second, let me introduce you to lily seed pops! They're perfectly bite-size snacks that have the consistency of something popcorn-like, but a little bit thicker and more smoothed out. Lily seeds are a good option for people with certain food allergies because they're nut-free, grain-free, gluten-free, and vegan. They're available in Cajun, Sea Salt, and Chili Lime flavors, but my favorite is definitely the Vegan Cheddar kind!

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    8. Uncut Burgers

    Before the Butcher / Via btbfoods.com

    I'm always up for trying new vegan burgers, but I'm also the first to admit that a lot of them taste pretty similar. Not so with the Uncut Burgers. This line of burgers expands on its classic burger to offer up a chicken burger, turkey burger, and breakfast sausages. While I can admit it's been over a decade since I've eaten actual chicken or turkey, these flavors felt really familiar...and really good. 

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    9. Squeezable Tahini by Mighty Sesame Co.

    A table with hummus, chickpeas, and a bottle of tahini on it
    Mighty Sesame Co. / Via mightysesameco.com

    Tahini is one of my favorite condiment/dip/sauces of all time. I'll order it on pretty much anything. However, making it myself, on the few occasions I've done it, was pretty time- and labor-intensive (or maybe I just did a bad job of it). When I came across this bottle of squeezable tahini, I figured it was worth a try. It's great because it's already ready to use, so I can use it on any food I want. I use it to make a quick tahini salad dressing almost every day between meetings while working from home, which has been a nice upgrade of my at-home lunches.

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    10. Love, Corn

    A blue bag that says "love, corn" in big yellow letters
    Love, Corn / Via lovecorn.com

    Do I read the name of this brand in a sentimental way, the same way I always read Love, Simon and Love, Victor? 100%. But maybe that's part of what endeared me so much to this brand — other than its tastiness. These snacks are reminiscent of the corn nuts of your childhood, but this time with flavor: Smoked BBQ, Vegan Cheezy, Sea Salt, Habanero Chili, and Salt & Vinegar (my personal favorite).

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    11. Banza Chickpea Pizza Crusts

    An orange pizza box with a big image of what the pizza crust looks like inside
    Banza / Via eatbanza.com

    I personally like to stock my freezer with items that can quickly be turned into a meal, and these pizza crusts are perfect for that. Add a little bit of pesto or red sauce, cheese, and some toppings — and dinner (or lunch) is ready in a snap. These vegan and gluten-free crusts come two in a box and feature a thick, chewy crust. I'm definitely a fan.

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    12. Impossible Burger Grounds

    A package of impossible meat over a turquoise background
    Impossible Foods / Via impossiblefoods.com

    Impossible's ground meat packages, which hit grocery stores this year, gave me more room for creativity in the kitchen. I used the grounds to make tacos, oh, maybe about a zillion times — and each time, they were bangin'.

    Wanting to get a little more creative, I checked out Impossible's cookbook for some new ideas. So far, I've made their recipes for chiles rellenos, sloppy joes, and Bolognese sauce, and I plan to try their recipe for kebabs next.

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    13. Pipcorn Corn Dippers

    A bag of corn chips with chips all over the sides
    Pipcorn / Via pipsnacks.com

    Another awesome snack I discovered this year is Pipcorn's corn dippers. Pipcorn have been expanding their offerings over the years from way more than just popcorn, and I guess I hadn't really noticed it. Enter the above bag of chips into my life. I've always loved Fritos — which do happen to be vegan — but these snacks are made from just three ingredients: heirloom corn, sunflower oil, and sea salt. They also offer Truffle and Lime Zest flavors, which I haven't yet tried but definitely plan to.

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    14. Miyoko's Roadhouse Cheddar Cheese

    A circular can of cheddar with a wooden pattern on it
    Miyoko's / Via miyokos.com

    You can always depend on Miyoko's for a delicious, crowd-pleasing cheese, and their Roadhouse Cheddar Cheese is no different. The tasty, sharp cheese is perfectly spreadable or easy to use as a dip in a group setting. The newly revamped packaging is sleek, too.

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    15. Biena Chickpea Puffs

    A turquoise bag that says "grain free chickpea puffs" on it
    Biena / Via bienasnacks.com

    I've decided that these chickpea balls are pretty much the upgraded, adult version of the neon-orange cheese balls you can buy in gigantic plastic canisters (and usually go through within a couple of days of bringing them home). Biena's version is made from chickpeas, the company's specialty, even though you wouldn't know it immediately upon tasting. These are free of rice, corn, grains, and gluten and are considered vegan (but double-check their other varieties, since some are made with real cheese).

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    16. No Doh Mozzarella-Style Sticks

    A bag showing a half-eaten mozzarella stick about to be dipped in tomato sauce
    Vedge Co / Via vedgeco.com

    These mozzarella sticks are a perfect example of something I bought based on the label itself because the photo on it was so appetizing to me. I'll admit that seeing that these are both vegan and gluten-free was a little cause for concern... but I was so, so wrong. They taste more like actual mozzarella sticks than any recipe I've tried to make. In fact, they're a lot like the *chef's kiss* mozzarella sticks at Champ's Diner in Brooklyn — which is the ultimate compliment, imo.

    One thing I did want to note for this list is that I haven't been able to find them in a physical grocery store yet. I have read about people finding them in grocery stories across the country, so I know it's possible. I ordered them from VegdeCo when they sold items individually (before they changed to bulk orders only — fingers crossed they'll go back someday).

    17. Hoplark Water

    Three cans of hops water in green, turquoise, and yellow
    Hoplark / Via hoplark.com

    Hoplark Water is a sparking beverage that actually tastes just like beer! It honestly boggles the mind how much the brewed hops taste like an actual beer, but the sparking water is clear, free of gluten, and completely nonalcoholic — aka a great option to have on hand at any social gathering.  So far, they come in three flavors: Citra Hops, Sabro Hops, and Mosaic Hops.

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    18. Strong Roots Cauliflower Hash Browns

    A purple and white bag of hash browns
    Strong Roots / Via strongroots.com

    The star item out of everything on this list, I think, are these cauliflower hash browns. They're made from potatoes and cauliflower, so they aren't quite as heavy as your standard hash browns, but they look and taste just like them. I like to cook them in a toaster oven, where they get perfectly golden brown.

    I almost didn't want to even mention these on this list because they're constantly selling out everywhere I can find them, but they're too good not to share! In another life, I lived for McDonald's hash browns and did everything I could to make it there before the 10:30 menu changeover. So you can imagine how this discovery has revolutionized my breakfasts — and it has!

    Find a local grocer that carries it here.

    Have you come across any awesome vegan finds in the grocery store this year? Let me know in the comments.